For-profit higher education, with its emphasis on serving part-time, older students, has not traditionally been in the business of building dormitories.
But DeVry University dedicated its first dormitory last week, at its Fremont campus, outside of San Francisco. Not only is the dorm a first for DeVry, which has campuses in 22 states, but it goes against the pattern at national, for-profit colleges. The University of Phoenix and Corinthian Colleges, for example, don't have any dorms or plans to build them.
Many colleges in recent years have eliminated majors or departments in relatively obscure fields, citing the need to focus on areas with growing student interest. Few, however, have taken the step Post University plans: eliminating majors in English and history and upper-level courses in liberal arts generally.
Monday's announcement that two private equity firms had agreed to pay $3.4 billion to buy Education Management Corp. means at least one thing: Some well-known and well-heeled financial folks decided that one of the country's most successful publicly held providers of for-profit higher education was a smart investment.